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Michelle Obama details the White House’s ‘darkest day’: Sandy Hook



Michelle Obama said there was only one time that her husband called her to his office in the middle of the workday because he needed her support, and that was after the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012.

In her new memoir, “Becoming,” the former first lady said she was giving a speech across the street from the White House when news broke that a gunman had shot and killed 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, before taking his own life.

When Michelle wrapped up her speech, her chief of staff came up to her and informed her about what had happened and said the president wanted her to return to the White House “right away.”

The moment President Barack Obama learned of the shooting.
White House/Pete Souza

“My husband needed me,” Michelle wrote. “This would be the only time in eight years that he’d request my presence in the middle of the workday, the two of us rearranging our schedules to be alone together for a moment of dim comfort.”

She continued: “When I walked into the Oval Office, Barack and I embraced silently. There was nothing to say. No words.”

As a “fact guy,” she said her husband demanded to be fully briefed when it came to events like this. So, he was overwhelmed with details of “the graphic, horrid crime scene,” of the “blood pooled on the floors of the classrooms and the bodies of” the victims.

This especially disturbed her husband, who “loved children in a deep and genuine way.”

Obama wiped away tears as he addressed the nation following the shooting.
YouTube/The Obama White House

Read more: 25 things we learned from Michelle Obama’s new memoir, ‘Becoming’

“Staying upright after Newtown was probably the hardest thing he’d ever had to do,” she said.

She said when their daughters got home from school that night, they met them in the residence to give them a hug.

Later, she watched as her husband addressed the nation, unable to hold back his tears.

Michelle wrote that she was “so shaken” by what happened that she couldn’t bring herself to go with her husband to a prayer vigil for the victims.

“I had no strength left to lend,” she said.

Friday marks the six-year anniversary of the massacre.

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